Weekend Cooking: Turkish Freekeh Pilaf
Freekeh Pilaf (Firik bulguru pilavi)
Region: Gaziantep, Mediterranean Region and Southeastern Anatolia
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 (300 g) turkey leg
80 g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water, drained and peeled
¾ tsp salt
150 g freekeh
½ tsp black pepper
This is a dish for celebrations and special occasions such as weddings.
In a large saucepan, bring 2 litres (8½ cups/70 fl oz) water to the boil, add the turkey leg, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the turkey leg from the pan with a slotted spoon, pull the meat from the bone and shred.
Measure the remaining water in the pan. If there is more than 600 ml (2½ cups/20 fl oz) water in the pan, discard the extra; if too little, add boiling water to make up the difference. Add the freekeh and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat the ghee in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the pulled turkey meat and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and sauté, mixing for 2 minutes. Serve the pilaf topped with the turkey and a sprinkling of the remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper.